We do it every single day! Half the time we don't even realize we are doing it. What is it? Daydreaming and hoping for a better life. It could be about a bigger house, or as simple as going out in public without your child having a meltdown (for us, this is a big dream). But we all hope for a "better life."
So how do we go from where we are right now, to where we want to be? In the Christian life, this is all about "faith". It's defined in Hebrews 11:1, "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."
First, being sure of what we hope for is deeper than just "wishing." It involves praying for it, visualizing it, thinking about it, saying it out loud and putting the word of God into it. Pick a Scripture that you can use to pray over your "hope." Type it out and tape it to your mirror. Look at it and speak it out loud daily. Then when you are "sure" of what you hope for, you need to let faith take hold and put your trust in God and take more action. Faith is "victory from the battlefield." What would you say if your dream came true? I'm sure you would be thankful. So start thanking God now for what is going to come to pass.
It's very difficult to let go of the idea of being in control. Especially moms with special needs kids. We have to juggle appointments with doctors, therapists, and school issues along with "regular" life. We are very adept at being "in control." Letting go of that control is scary and goes against our human nature. But it's a stress-reliever to let go! And it's the key to allowing your blessings to flow.
One of my life lessons on faith occurred during our eight years of waiting to become parents. I had wanted to be a mom many years before I married. I was sure of this hope! After Russ and I married, we were ready to start a family. About six month later, we were overjoyed to discover that I was pregnant. I immediately started buying baby clothes and dreaming about decorating the nursery. But soon thereafter I experienced a deep heartache, my first miscarriage. I was devastated. But with time and prayer, I began to desire to try again.
More years of heartache were in store for me. After my fourth miscarriage, I was completely broken and desperate to become a mom. So after much prayer, Russ and I felt led to try adoption. I was fast approaching my fortieth birthday. So I prayed a faith-testing prayer: for God to bless us with a baby by the time I was forty, or else take away my desire to be a mom. I felt that becoming a mom at forty would be tough enough being older physically. So I drew my line in the sand with my prayer. A short time later I felt a "Yes" from God, so I put all my faith into this hope. Surely God would not let me down!
When my fortieth birthday came and went, I was still childless. But God did not take away my strong desire to have a baby. This was a season of confusion and doubting my faith. Now I was approaching my forty-first birthday in October. I still had a deep desire to be a mom. I was "sure of what I hoped for", but I was not "certain of what I did not see."
A few months past my forty-first birthday my confusion and grief magnified. I was having trouble trusting in God for what He promised me. I was on the verge of being too old for motherhood. After praying one morning, I remembered the story of Abraham and Sarah. Sarah was decades too old for motherhood, yet because of God's promise for a child, she became pregnant and then bore a son, Isaac. I prayed to God for guidance. Did He still want to bless us with parenthood? That night I had a dream that symbolized staying right where we were and remaining faithful. Because I knew the dream was from God, my faith was renewed while the waiting time continued.
Christmas was now approaching. Each year that passed without a baby was most difficult for me at Christmas. But this year was very different. God healed my grief completely and I felt love and joy and during the Christmas season. Now we were heading toward the new year. I knew God was going to bless us with a baby. I was becoming "certain of what I did not see!"
On December 30, we received a phone call from our adoption agency! There was a 12 day old baby boy available, and his biological parents had picked Russ and I to parent this precious life! Although we needed time to pray about it and talk it over with family members, the next day my sister Pam drove with Russ and I to the adoption agency to receive our new little baby boy, Sean! We had waited over eight years to be parents, and now with 24 hours notice our hope was fulfilled!
Some of you may be wondering about the promise God gave me before my fortieth birthday. God honored His promise, for Sean was in the womb while I was still forty. And He never took my desire for parenthood away. I just needed to remain faithful and be "certain of what I did not see".
Faith has two parts. The first part is a little easier: being sure of what we hope for. But the second part takes practice. For those of you moms who are struggling with hoping for a bright future for your special needs kids, remain strong in your hope. If God simply spoke the world into existence with His words, and He "...calls things that are not as though they were" (Romans 4:17), He will give you the desires of your heart as you put your trust in Him. Hope for it, speak it out loud with God's Word, and be certain even though you don't see it. Your faith can truly turn what you hope for into existence. I have seen some of my hopes become reality and I am still trusting in God for some of my other hopes. But I will keep trusting to be certain of what I do not see - yet.
What are you hoping for? I'd love for you to share your dream in the comment box below on my website, or on Facebook.